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Changes to the Illinois Architecture Practice Act

Practicing architects in the state of Illinois are licensed under the Illinois Architecture Practice Act of 1989. This Act, which was updated recently, defines the role and expectations of a professional architect in Illinois and outlines the regulatory powers the state has over those offering professional architecture services within its borders. Recent changes to the Act include a new requirement for a current email address on file with the state, addition of an unlicensed public member to the Architecture Licensing Board, and updates to provisions affecting those new to their architecture career.

The Illinois Architecture Practice Act defines an architect as “a person who is qualified by education, training, experience, and examination, and who is licensed under the laws of this State, to practice architecture.” Recent legislation has changed how those qualifications are assessed and monitored by the state and its regulatory board.

For example, Section 4.1 has added a new “email address of record” component to the address of record paragraph, which requires licensees to provide a valid email address to the Department and to report any changes in that email address within 14 days after the change (225 ILCS 305/4.1 new). By adding an email address to the current physical address of record requirement, the Department is clearly making attempts to bring the licensing and regulation requirements into the twenty-first century.

A few other notable changes to the Act include the composition of the Architecture Licensing Board and the matter of their compensation. In Section 9, the number of individuals on the Architecture Licensing Board has been increased from 6 to 7, 6 of whom are required to hold a valid architecture license in Illinois and have done so for at least ten years (225 ILCS 305/9). The seventh position on the board is reserved for an unlicensed member of the public. Section 9 now also includes a new provision for the reimbursement of board member’s “legitimate, necessary, and authorized expenses” related to their board activities.

Perhaps one of the most interesting changes to the Act is a shift in terminology regarding unlicensed persons working in the field of architecture. While in Section 4 the Act forbids anyone from performing independent architectural services without a license, the law also recognizes that unlicensed individuals who have completed the education requirements and are in good standing as required for licensure. Formerly referred to as “architectural interns” in the Act, that term has been changed to “architectural associate” (225 ILCS 305/4).

While a minor change, “associate” does connote a position of more respect and responsibility than the title of “intern.” The many other changes found in the wording of the Act perform a similar function, clarifying terms and definitions and editing confusing or otherwise imprecise language throughout the revised Act.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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